Bret Taylor

Google, Inc.

Inside Google Maps
11 minutes, 5.4mb, recorded 2005-06-29
Bret Taylor

Maps on websites have become almost as de rigueur as search functions. In this brief talk from O'Reilly's 2005 Where 2.0 conference, Bret Taylor, a product manager at Google, states their intention to make adding maps just as easy as adding search, through the use of the Google Maps API.

Taylor discusses Google's intention to increase their support of the developer community and that their goals are ambitious. He states that, with their Maps API, maps are presented as a canvas for custom items such as markers, polylines, and shadowed info boxes. The API even includes some advanced object oriented features like event listeners. There's also an active Google discussion forum with pointers to sample JavaScript code. The background map can readily be toggled between satellite and vector modes; and all this capability is free - at least for the time being. Any website that is free to consumers, whether it is commercial or non-commercial in purpose, can use the Maps API without charge, although Taylor does allude to several caveats in the license. He is clearly excited, however, by the technology being unleashed.

A few audience questions are handled at the end. These touch on whether Google intends to be compatible with the Open Geospatial Consortium specifications and how Google categorizes feature data. Taylor answers what he can and forthrightly begs off when he needs to, but he holds to his position that maps are inevitable on websites and that Google intends to provide them.

Bret Taylor is a Product Manager for Google's Developer Programs. He joined Google in 2003 , managing products including Google Maps, the Google Maps API, Google Local, and Search Quality. Prior to Google, Bret worked as a software engineer at Reactivity, a startup incubator in Silicon Valley. He holds an MS and BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.


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